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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  December 13, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST

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>> the best thing you can do. tell your kids no gifts? >> you tell them. >> kids -- >> cover your face after you say it. >> no gifts. go to church with dad. good to be with you. >> time for the "newsroom" with carol costello. carol's going to give them gifts. she's a softy. >> i've already bought them. they're in my office. >> yeah. >> got me one, too. >> sorry, poppy. >> thanks so much, guys. have a great day. "newsroom" starts right now. and good morning, i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me. donald trump announces his pick for secretary of state but diplomacy may be hard to find on capitol hill. where senators are voicing deep concerns. rex tillerson has no foreign policy experience but as the head of exxonmobile, he has developed close ties to russia and its president, vladimir putin. that has unsettled lawmakers and
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set the stage for what could be the first big fight between the trump white house and his own party. sources telling us tillerson does come highly recommended to trump. those endorsements, former secretaries of state condoleezza rice and james baker and bob gates. we're covering it all for you. jason carroll is live outside of trump tower. cnn political reporter manu raju live in washington. jason, let's start with you. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. a number of gop leaders are weighing in. people like paul ryan and newt gingrich. trump tweeting this morning saying, quote, i have chosen one of the truly great business leaders of the world. though you also have senators like marco rubio weighing in saying, he has serious concerns. this morning president-elect donald trump picking exxonmobile ceo rex tillerson for secretary of state. sources say tillerson was recommended by former republican
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secretaries of state including james baker and condoleezza rice. tillerson chosen after trump's vetting of a string of high profile candidates including an unlikely courtship with one-time rival mitt romney. trump called the 2012 gop nominee personally last night to say it wasn't all a game. tillerson's nomination already generating controversy with no formal foreign policy experience. the business titan instead forming close relationships with many world leaders by closing massive oil deals including russian president vladimir putin sparking criticism from both sides of the aisle. >> anybody who's a friend of vladimir putin must disregard that he's a murderer, thug, kgb agent. >> reporter: this after they're talking about him being an
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agent. >> this smells like politics. >> reporter: a bipartisan group of senators calls for a congressional inquiry. >> i think we ought to approach all of these issues on the assumption that the russians do not wish us well. >> reporter: president obama reiterating calls for a review to prevent russia from impacting future elections. >> this was not a secret running up to the election. the president-elect in some of his political events specifically said to the russians, hack hillary's e-mails. >> reporter: trump's team says he won't interfere with an investigation. >> he's the president of the united states. the legislature can do what it wants. >> reporter: he delays a news conference where he promised he'll discuss how he'll handle his conflicts of interest. he will be leaving his businesses before january 20th and two of his three children, don and eric, plus executives, will run the companies, notably no mention of his daughter
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ivanka who is likely to step away from the businesses and serve as an advisor to her father. trump also promising no new deals will be done during his terms in office. and, carol, trump continuing to name names to his administration. gary khan will be director of the national economic council. mcdaniel, the niece of mitt romney to head up the rnc and former texas governor rick perry said to be the front-runner to lead the energy department, a department he once said he would eliminate if he ever became president. carol? >> all right. jason carroll reporting live from trump towers this morning. tillerson isn't a shoe in for secretary of state. he still needs to be confirmed by the senate and considering his close ties to russia he could be looking at a i heated showdown on capitol hill. let's bring in manu raju to talk about that. hi, manu. >> reporter: hey, carol. republicans have fallen in line behind trump's other picks but
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not rex tillerson. yesterday mitch mcconnell refused to discuss the possibility of tillerson's approval. we've heard reservations from four republicans. a time that many want to take a hard line against russia. they issued this statement. while rex tillerson is a respected businessman, i have serious concerns about his nomination. the next secretary of state must be someone who views the world with moral clarity, free of potential conflicts of interest and has a clear sense of america's interests. now this is significant because if democrats stay united against tillerson on the foreign relations committee and rubio votes no, that could be enough to derail the nomination because republicans only have a one seat advantage and that's one reason why the outgoing democratic
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leader harry reid told me tillerson's confirmation may be in doubt. >> i don't know if he can get 50 votes. >> reporter: do the reports that you're seeing about his russian connections concern you? >> it's in keeping with trump. he's -- he -- he's already stated he likes putin better than he likes obama. it's obvious he likes russia and that's fairly concerning to the world and certainly concerning to america, concerning to me. >> reporter: now the challenge to trump is 52 senators, on the floor of the senate the trump team can only limit its defect shuns to three republican senators to get them confirmed if all the democrats vote no. because of those four republican senators have expressed reservations so far, trump's team and tillerson himself have some selling to do on capitol hill to close ranks. carol? >> all right. manu raju joining us live. let's talk about all of this and
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more. with me is jeff zel lenny, elise lab bet and cnn global economic analyst. welcome to all of you. let's dive right in. he has no military or diplomatic experience. this is a history making pick, right? >> it is, indeed, carol. he is totally different from the recent secretaries of state that we've had. without question he has considerable experience making deals but not diplomacy and that, of course, is the hallmark of any secretary of state position. about managing those relationships, carrying out the president's wishes with russia. as manu just reported, this confirmation hearing on capitol hill is going to be divisive, it's going to raise all the questions that we've just been talking about. even more so, now that hacking is in the news, it is going to be a focal point for that conversation as well. it is a separate conversation but the -- you know, the emergence of russia as a central issue in our politics here in the u.s. now comes at not an
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opportune time for rex tillerson. donald trump doubling down here and he has the support of recent secretaries of state, condoleezza rice among them. look for a bruising confirmation hearing as we go forward here. once if he would happen to get confirmed an open question about what type of secretary of state he would be. >> well, let me put that to you because jeff mentioned condoleezza rice, supporting the pick of rex tillerson. she said rex tillerson is an excellent choice for secretary of state. he will bring to the post remarkable and broad experience, deep understanding of the global economy and belief in america's special role in the world. so are critics wrong about tillerson, elise? >> well, carol, it's not necessarily unprecedented. you know, you have had very successful secretaries of state like george schultz who ran a big corporation like pectel. certainly rex tillerson has a
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knowledge of the world, international experience in dealing with world leaders. diplomacy is very different to business deal making, and, you know, you measure it in different types of terms. in a deal you kind of look at profits, but here you're looking at, you know, results in terms of diplomacy. one diplomat said diplomacy has a very long tail. when you hit one thing it necessarily affects the others. it's kind of like this complicated international puzzle of world issues that you have to take into effect. i've spoken to a lot of diplomats a the the state department. they say perhaps the ceo approach, someone who knows how to negotiate could shake things up for the better. there are other concerns though as jeff mentioned about rex tillerson's relationship with vladimir putin and with russia and also some of the other deals he made around the world. several years ago exxonmobile led by tillerson was in iraq trying to work on oil deals there. they dealt with the kurds as
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opposed to the central government in baghdad. that kind of fostered fears of kurdish independence. that got people wrangled up. state department, eventually everything was worked out. now exxon is working with the whole government. there are concerns about a possible culture clash. it also isn't clear how rex tiller son feels about the state department and how they would do things. he would work with donald trump. he's been ceo for ten years. donald trump is a ceo now. >> you're talking about hard-nosed negotiations. rex tillerson, i would expect he is a hard-nosed negotiators because he made billions and billions of dollars for the exxon corporation. >> absolutely. >> sometimes diplomacy takes a more delicate touch. is he capable of that? >> i'm going to push back. i think the experience of a head of a multi-national energy company like exxon is actually pretty relevant here. i mean, what these guys do, typically they spend their days and nights talking to heads of
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problematic foreign governments. this is actually an industry, you know, you talk about long tail, oil and gas is probably the most strategic industry, the industry with the longest view. they're looking at 20, 30, 50 year time frames. they're dealing in long relationships with governments in some of the world's hot spots. so i actually think that experience is very relevant. i think that where things are going to be trickier maybe in the confirmation hearings are tillerson's personal business interests. to have this much of a stake in exxon as a major player in the russian market is problematic. i think he's going to have to explain that. he's going to have to show us that he is no more in bed with putin, you know, or any olligarh is in russia. >> i have to leave it there. many thanks. still to come on the "newsroom," putin wants to normalize relations with the united states, but a long list of lawmakers say russia is not
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for a powerful comeback. new expressmax caplets. good morning. vladimir putin says he is ready to meet america's president-elect at any moment although he's a little confused by mr. trump's slogan, make america great again. putin said he objects to america exceptionalism. the united states is a great nation, nobody is arguing about that, but i think it's completely excessive and creates certain issues in interaction. also, carter paige, who advised the trump campaign for six months, appeared on russian state television extolling the
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virtues of trump's pick. hi, matthew. >> reporter: hi, carol. that's right. carter paige is a former advisor to mr. trump. he's been making his rounds in russia. he was an unknown figure before his name was dropped by donald trump in the presidential campaign. he's since been dropped by the trump campaign. he still sort of comes to russia as part of the organization he's founded which does business here to talk about policy issues. and he's been meeting the local press here over the past couple of days. you know, there's a sense in which they believe he's got some kind of incite into what donald trump is thinking about russia. because there's such an appetite here in russia for anything donald trump has to say for any sort of possible change in policy towards his country, he's getting extremely large audience. carter paige very positive on the appointments of rex
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tillerson as secretary of state. take a listen to what he had to say to a bunch of local journalists gathered in moscow last night. >> there's a lot of rumors out there. i don't have any specific insights into the rumors. i'm really personally excited you know just as one small example -- one major example on one hand but one of many examples about rex tillerson, you know, being awarded the order of friendship, the many joint ventures he creates -- worked to create in the black sea, tide oil, the list goes on. actions speak louder than words. i think there's a lot of ways we can certainly work together on this. >> reporter: carol, after donald trump announced his decision on twitter that rex tillerson was his choice for secretary of state, he tweeted again saying this. the thing i like best about rex
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tillerson is he has vast experience dealing successfully with all types of foreign governments. it's his dealings with the russian government that are potentially the most controversial, are potentially going to create the most problems when it comes to his confirmation hearings in the senate. >> matthew chance reporting live from moscow. thanks so much. let me introduce my next guest. congressman reed ribble. republican from the state of wisconsin. serves on the house foreign affairs committee. good morning, sir. >> good morning, carol. >> good morning. let's start with carter paige. american citizen, one-time trump advisor. appeared on russian state television which is the government television station to taut donald trump's pick for secretary of state. how does that strike you? >> well, i mean, i think the whole russian connection with tillerson is something that everyone needs to be a little bit cautious of. it does throw up some red flags and certainly mr. tillerson should divest himself of his holdings at exxon so there's no
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conflict of interest at all. then we have to recognize, i think, mr. trump has to recognize that russia's not necessarily a great friend of the united states and has never been held accountable for some of the actions in ukraine. it has to be both intrigued and a bit troubled. >> well, you know, russia's foreign minister, who is the equivalent of america's secretary of state, already sent out a news release saying that russia welcomes the nomination of rex tillerson as u.s. secretary of state and is ready to work with him. he says, i think both president trump and the new secretary were not opponents to developments of our relations. on the contrary, people are pragmatic. we expect the pragmatism will be a good basis for building mutually beneficial relationships with russia. you don't find this coming in from other countries like our strong allies like germany and the u.k. it came first from russia. >> well, yeah. i don't know that we should
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necessarily be surprised at that simply because exxon is a big player in russia. russia's number one industry is energy and so i think that that would be logical. we have to remember that these business people that trump is bringing into the -- into his cabinet, they're typically obsessively self-interested. when you're looking at someone who's going to be secretary of state, particularly in a trump era where he wants to go with an american first ideology, have somebody self-interested in america, i don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. >> is russia our friend? because senator mitch mcconnell said russia is not our friend. he intimated mr. trump should keep that in mind. >> he certainly should keep that in mind. as i mentioned a bit earlier. the fact that mr. putin was really a party to the murder of 298 citizens in the malaysian air shootdown over ukraine, he has been very involved in the
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movement of russia and the involvement in ukraine in usurping the sovereignty of that nation, it should be very troubling to the united states. russia's not necessarily a friend. it seems that the trump administration is pivoting towards asia. i think that that should give some pause to everyone. >> so when you say give some pause, are they deeply concerned about mr. trump's picks as far as being in russia? >> it's going to be dependent on what they do going forward. i'm intrigued by this pick because mr. tillerson has a really broad foreign experience and he knows a lot of the state department's players, our ambassadors and professional diplomats abroad. that level of experience is actually a very interesting benefit for the american foreign policy world and i think he could be very successful at this as long as we don't have
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conflicts of interest and he deals with those ahead of time. >> as far as any sort of congressional investigation into russia interfering with our election, are you for such an investigation? >> i am. i'm not surprised that russians -- the russian government, the iranians, the chinese are trying to hack into our system. that's pretty typical and it's really, quite frankly, a daily occurrence around here. >> do you believe the cia when it says that russia specifically wanted to swing the election to donald trump? >> well, i don't know that they necessarily did that. i don't know that i believe them there, but i do believe that the russians were very self-interested on their own to influence the election and, in fact, they have influenced the election because they've been able to cast doubt on it. and so just the fact that you and i are having this discussion today shows that they've been able to do that. and so it absolutely warrants further investigation. we ought to look into it. but we have to remember that our
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presidents are elected via 50 independent states with tens of thousands of observers so it's very, very difficult to swing an election one way or another here. >> you mentioned the fact that we're having this discussion at all. >> yeah. >> i can't stop thinking about people are saying, oh, my gosh, the united states congressman is saying that russia interfered in some way in our election yet we're talking about all of these picks for the trump administration with connections to russia and for some people that's a little scary. >> it is a little bit scary. scary for me and i spoke out about it during the campaign for presidency that i felt that the relationship between mr. trump and russia was a little unusual. certainly maybe more cozy than i would like to see, but we should not be surprised by it today because he has spoken of this quite frequently during the course of the campaign. but i do not believe as mr. trump said, i do not believe that the russians swung the
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election one way or the other. secretary clinton was a flawed candidate and the american people, particularly in the central part of the u.s. and in my own home state of wisconsin chose to go a different path. >> all right. i have to leave it there. congressman reed ribble, thank you for joining us. exxon stock has been rising. as alisyn kosik joins me, good morning. >> rex tillerson leaving exxonmobile apparent bely not rattling investors too much. in fact, they're buying into shares of exxonmobile. the funny thing is it has less to do with the fact that tillerson is trump's pick for secretary of state, it has more to do with an agreement between opec and non-opec proe erduce zwroers cut the output of oil. all energy companies benefit from higher oil prices but exxon here, exxon is the real winner because when oil prices fell to
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$40, the company had to wind up scaling back its share of buy backs and dividend hikes. shareholders could be rewarded. they're buying into shares hoping they'll get that reward later. as for what else is on the table for investors, the fed meeting beginning today. decision day coming tomorrow. carol, all the expectations are the fed will hike rates tomorrow. carol? >> oh, boy. you'll be back with me for sure. alisyn kosik, thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom," donald trump makes a key announcement about the future of his business empire and daughter ivanka, she's not part of it. why? i am benedict arnold, the infamous traitor. and i know a thing or two about trading. so i trade with e*trade, where true traders trade on a trademarked trade platform that has all the...
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and good morning, i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me. i want to take you to trump tower because we are monitoring the golden elevators to see who is talking with donald trump. this morning, yeah, kanye west entered trump tower. you see him back there. it wasn't so long ago that at a concert he went on this rant where he told his audience that if he had voted he would support donald trump and then a short time later he ended up in the hospital. i'm sure the two were not connected. we found it was an interesting picture that trump was coming in to talk to mr. trump and willing to kill some time. jeffrey lordes is dialing in his skype account.
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already here. >> we're going to kill some time, too. >> it's fun. you know, i thought i had seen it all, carol, but now there you have it. is he like -- are there any posts still open? is he going to be secretary -- could he -- i think here we go. i think he could be secretary of sanity. >> i know that seems like a far cry, the idea of kanye west for secretary of sanity, but you know, these concepts are now relative. >> better hurry up and get her. >> very fungible in a trump administration. >> mr. trump is talking to a variety of people so he can come up with ideas to unify the nation. maybe kanye west can help him in the african-american community, you don't know. >> maybe. there's a larger issue here. people are choosing to legitimize trump. president-elect trump who we should note, yes, has won the electoral college but lost the popular vote by a more significant margin than, i mean,
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ever, right? in other words, hillary clinton won the popular vote by a greater margin than most people in history. his credibility was already questioned. now we have the question of russian hacking. >> come on. >> none of this looks good and he hasn't made a single overture to say, look, i'm going to try to govern for all people unlike barack obama who at this point in his president-electness has a 71% approval rating and trump has 40% approval rating. he has appointed far right conservative autocratic business leaders instead of looking to represent the broad interests of the american people. >> so jeffrey lord has arrived. >> oh, goody. >> jeffrey, there you are, you're laughing. maybe you heard part of what sally said. >> i did. >> we were talking about kanye west coming into trump towers helping mr. trump and wondering why, why, why? >> he's going to be the new secretary of state?
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maybe i've got that wrong. >> no, that's rex tillerson. >> oh -- >> kanye. >> if only it were kanye. >> got it. got it. well, listen, contrary to my friend sally, i think he's done a great deal. he's talking to everybody from as she puts it the far right autocrats or whatever to al gore. talk about a unifying scheme in things. he's talking to everybody. this is the donald trump i know. he's more than happy to talk to people. heavens, mitt romney said all sorts of terrible things about him and he's been extraordinarily kind to mitt romney. this is the thing. >> i want to talk about mitt romney. he fell off the map. how do you go, jeffrey, from seriously considering mitt romney to rex tillerson, a man with no military or diplomatic experience.
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>> well, i think he's got the kind of experience in the business world in terms of diplomacy around the world in terms of his company, but i think the mitt romney thing was genuine. i mean, i personally was not thrilled with it because i thought mitt romney was way over the top about donald trump during the election and as a former republican presidential nominee, i just -- you know, that's sort of was gob smacking to me. he was very kind to mitt romney. he was genuinely under consideration. he's gone with mr. tillerson who's getting recommendations and kudos from condy rice and jim baker and others. hardly a bunch of right wing nuts. it's just that he's not been in the public eye, that's really all that's going on here. he's not been a member of the -- or a visible member, if you will, of the political class. >> so you think that donald trump was at one time very serious about mitt romney because sometimes i wonder if he
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really was very serious about mitt romney or he's just doing it as an olive branch. >> no. >> my understanding close to trump is it was all for show. let's be clear, he made -- jeffrey's right, he's meeting with people but he's not actually putting them into positions of power. the people he's putting into positions of power are billionaires and executives and far right ideye ideologues. his promise was he was going to drain the swamp. he is gilding the swamp. it's upsetting. listen, he has exxon executive with close ties to russia, with business interests, billions of dollars of business interests in russia and zero foreign policy experience at an incredibly precipitous and dangerous time for the world, i can't imagine anyone thinking that's a good idea. donald trump doesn't care. he cares what's good for
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business. >> jeffrey. >> sally, number one, i don't know how many conservatives barack obama put in his cabinet. i mean, a lot of them were far left wingers from a conservative point of view so, i mean, what can i tell you. >> not true. >> barack obama won the election, he has the right to put whomever he wanted in there. he campaigned on one america, red, white, blue, all of that thing and proceeded to steer the government incredibly left. >> actually, he put a number of republicans in his cabinet. for instance, kept robert gates. >> he put no conservatives in his cabinet. >> gates? >> well, all right. point taken, one. >> oh! >> good. willing to concede. >> carol, that was very good. >> but, jeffrey -- jeffrey, forgive me. don't let facts get in the way of your point. go ahead, please. >> no, jeffrey could also bring up rick perry, right? rick perry was not a strong
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supporter of donald trump. said very nasty things. now he's top of the list. >> nikki haley is in the cabinet as the u.n. ambassador. the point is he is going to govern the way he said he intended to govern, he's going to bring people together. this is a good thing, not a bad thing. people like sally, my friend sally, are not going to agree. i get that. we had the election. here in pennsylvania he won. >> yes. i'm going to do exactly what republicans do. let's be clear. people like my friend jeffrey hammered hillary clinton for not giving press conferences when she was just a candidate. he's now president-elect and he not only has not given a press conference in 139 days but he's delaying for a month the one he promised to give. i am pretty confident that if a president-elect hillary clinton said she wasn't going to take intelligence briefings, i mean, the thunder of republican objection and outrage would be
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deafening. >> that's just not so. >> it was donald trump in 2014 who bashed president obama for rumors, rumors that he wasn't fully reading the briefings. >> sally. >> donald trump's really smart so it's okay, right? >> sally, look, there is -- >> defend it, please. >> presidents as former cia director james woolsey has said, presidents take these briefings in different fashions. president clinton -- >> yes, but they take them, jeffrey. >> president clinton did not do them in person. he read them and -- >> he still took -- jeffrey, he still took the information on a daily basis. do you understand? what your president is saying is he's not even going to take the information. >> let's let jeffrey finish. >> sally, if i am going to tell you the sun is hot, do i need to tell you tomorrow? or the next day? or the next day? or the next day? >> again, the glibness -- only in trump's world, the glibness
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with which you are taking -- you're supposed to be the party that's strong on national security. you're supposed to be the party that's tough on these things. it was the republicans who bashed president obama for not being tough enough on putin. >> i am going to enjoy the next four years as much as you enjoyed the last eight. >> come on. >> i'm going to end it there. jeffrey around -- >> merry christmas, carol. >> still to come in the "newsroom," the long shot planned to block donald trump from ever taking the presidency. what a slew of electoral college members are now demanding. there is no typical day.
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the 30 ee lek tors who make up the electoral college will cast their vote for president of the united states. there's a new twist that might throw a wrench into things. 29 of those electors are calling on james clapper to brief them on russia's involvement. their goal glean enough information to persuade at least 37 republican electors on trump. which would turn the election over to the house of representatives. of those 19 there is a lone republican, chris supran. chris is live, welcome. >> good morning, carol. >> good morning. so you guys wrote an open letter to clapper. did you get a response? >> i have not heard anything yet, but i am hopeful. >> and what exactly do you want from him? >> well, i think we deserve to know what russia's involvement may have been, what was the basis of the washington post
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story about how far russia's intervened and intruded in our election system. it seems from the washington post story it wasn't simply to undermine the election but in fact to pick a favorite. >> hillary clinton's campaign director is going one step farther. it's demanding that trump prove that mr. trump did not collaborate with russia during the campaign. is that also info you might welcome? >> well, i wouldn't welcome it. i hadn't heard that news. i'm not sure i'm ready to take that step where mr. trump was involved with russia. i'm simply concerned russia was involved with our election when they shouldn't be. i'm not prepared to make accusations against another u.s. citizen without further evidence. the director of national intelligence can provide us whatever declassified facts he has and we can look at them and go from there. >> do you believe that russia tilted the election towards trump? >> well, i guess that's really the question, isn't it? we don't know. that's why i'm looking for a
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fact-based intelligence agency. when the report came out i was disappointed that mr. trump's first reaction was to defend russia instead of the cia and fact-based intelligence gathering like i would think any american president would. >> what would you say, mr. trump says this whole thing with russia has become politicized. it's just a push to delegitimize his election. what do you say to that? >> that's not my point. i'm interested in facts and whether or not a foreign government intruded on our elections, undermined our elections and/or picked a favorite for their own benefit, they're not doing it necessarily for mr. trump or anyone else they may have been involved with. i think they're doing it for their benefit which is a danger to our national security. >> so as far as i know, you were the lone republican pushing for this. have you talked to other republicans in the electoral college? >> i have conversations daily since the op ed came out monday of last week. i've had several people contact me. i've reached out to others and
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i'm trying to have conversations not only on the cia issue but on the original three most importantly the ee moll u ments clause. >> what are those republicans saying to you? >> you know, it's a mixed bag and i don't want to jeopardize any of the discussions we're having. we're six days out, as you noted, and we're at a delicate stage where we're trying to convince voters to say we perhaps need to pause, reconsider, send this to the house of representatives and get more information in the meantime. >> jill stein went down a different road. she demanded recounts in three states and a lot of people laughed at her because her efforts were unsuccessful. might that be -- might that be the outcome for you as well? >> it certainly could. i am less worried about whether or not i'm successful on december 19th than i am in doing the right thing. i think that leadership should be about doing the right thing every time, not about doing the
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easy thing, which i think too many of our elections have come. >> there are those who say our country is so divided and it's time to move on and let donald trump become president and see what happens. people just aren't giving him a fair shake. >> you just had a great segment on the very topic. if donald trump wants to unite the country, i would welcome it. what i've seen since the election, he is more willing to attack the cast of "hamilton" or "saturday night live" than take his own national intelligence briefings. >> so is it your intent then to -- to persuade the electoral college, the other members, that donald trump should not be president? >> well, that's what i attempted to do with the op ed and that's what i'm doing in the calls i'm making and taking when i speak to other electoral college members. >> all right. i have to leave it there. chris supran, thank you so much for being with me this morning. still to come in the
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"newsroom," from name-calling to threats. the tough challenges journalists face while reporting on donald trump. that's next.
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donald trump's journey to the white house started with a ride down a golden escalator and the journey since, well, it's been unprecedented. as journalists, we're used to reporting on the story but not
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actually being the story but at times team trump has put us in the spotlight. the president-elect lamb baflts the media as dishonest and disgusting. he calls reporters out by name. things got even nastier behind the scenes. cnn's political analyst john avlon knows all about that. he wrote a piece for the first ever book from cnn politics called "unprecedented," the election that changed everything. welcome, john. >> good to see you, carol. >> some of the stuff you wrote in the article we can't say on air. >> that's part of its charm. >> i mean, you want to put it that way. in fact, my favorite comes from a deposition from trump's first divorce and michael cohen, who was the special counsel to mr. trump, so what happened? >> correct, so one of our daily beast reporters tim mack called up michael cohen to ask about the deposition and some of the accusations that had been made. and in a exchange that involved him saying there's no such thing as marital rape which made some headlines -- >> there was an allegation out
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there that donald trump's first wife accused him in the divorce proceedings of marital rape. >> of feeling violated and then it had been retracted after a settlement but it had been a matter of fact that had not been raised in some time. in the course of that, michael cohen explained to our reporter tim mack that if anything was reported of this nature, that what he would do to him would be f-ing disgusting, that he would effectively bankrupt him personally as well as his news organization and ruin him. in terms of such that -- referring to other things he'd done to other people who made claims or accusations against donald trump in the past. this i think was a big reveal. this was just a few weeks after the campaign began, of the way that organization was used to treating the media, which was simultaneously craving the media's attention but attacking it and trying to intimidate journal it'ses from doing any reporting with threats of legal violence. >> you have to understand, that
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was a tear berrible allegation. so why shouldn't they intimidate the media out of writing about it? >> i think there's a difference between pushing back forcefully with facts and trying to threaten and intimidate and bully. when those likes gets bulled, we lose our ethical mooring as a country because then, you know, if the attitude towards the first amendment is, you know, it's an awfully nice first amendment, be a shame if anything happened to it. if the attitude is we will individually attack and, you know, persecute people who say things we don't like and ask questions we're uncomfortable with, that's a fundamental discomfort with a basic element of democracy. the founding fathers mentionedi, not political parties. it's all part of a larger game of checks and balances. it's not a game but a civic responsibility. when that's treated with contempt and there's attacks to individuals, that's chilling to every citizen. >> here's the other thing. some websites, the huffington post comes to mind, they took a
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stance against donald trump, they called him names at the end of every article. so in that sense -- i'm sorry, i just heard something. oh, my goodness, john avlon. we had to show this picture. >> long time. we've been friends for a long time. life. discussing. >> 2020, that something you still want to do? kanye, are you considering -- >> no comment about your meeting with the president-elect, nothing to say? >> i just want to take a picture right now. >> are you going to run for president, kanye? >> you take care of yourself, i'll see you soon, all right? >> cool, cool. >> so we just interrupted an impassioned speech by john avlon to show a picture of kanye west appearing with the president-elect of the united states.
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>> so much for conversation about rex tillerson the new secretary of state for the next several hours. >> no, we'll talk about that, don't you worry. >> donald trump is -- look, he is a master marketer. you know, i think a lot of it is impulse that some ascribe to strategy. he does have relationships with people like this. but by trotting out kanye west at this hour, bright shining object is going to drive a lot of coverage for the next few hours. >> not on cnn. we just showed that because it was such an unusual picture and you wonder why kanye west was there. >> i mean, writ large, the impulse. one of the things social media's elevated is people chase bright shiny objects. the tension there is what is the heat and what is the outlier and it's our job to distinguish between the two. whenever you get a pop culture/politics mash-up of this nature, fascinating. >> yes. >> also is not deeply important. >> that's right. we promise, we will not treat it as such. we really won't. i'm sure that's also in cnn's
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book unprecedented. >> sure. >> that's one of the challenges we deal with in covering the trump administration. >> absolutely, look, again, he's been primarily a marketer his entire life. a hype man. knows how to use the media. that's one of the fascinating thing. he craves media attention but attacks the media when it tries to hold him accountable. unlike any modern american political figure we've seen. in covering it, not to simply be distracted by the bright shiny objects but focus on the facts and keep in mind for readers and viewers everybody's entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts and that's our job as journalists. >> thanks for stopping by. reminder that cnn's book unprecedented the election that changed everything is on sale now. you can order it at cnn.com/book. the next order of cnn "newsroom" after a break. generosity is its own form of power.
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you can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix
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in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. good morning, i'm carol costello. we have confirmed the former texas governor rick perry has been selected for energy secretary. you might remember rick perry at one time wanted to abolish the energy department but mr. trump hoping he'll become his energy secretary very soon. jason carroll live at trump tower to tell us more, good morning. >> good morning, carol. it was back in

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